Portugal to announce bailout review results on Tuesday
LISBON, Sept 10 |
LISBON, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Portugal's government will on Tuesday announce the results of the fifth review of the country's 78-billion-euro bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, the finance ministry said late on Monday.
The results will be announced by Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar a few days after the prime minister unveiled new austerity measures for 2013, a move that suggested the country was struggling to meet the bailout's tough budget goals.
The finance ministry said in a statement that Gaspar will hold a press conference at 1400 GMT on Tuesday to announce the results of the review by inspectors from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF.
The inspectors have approved Portugal's economic performance in all previous quarterly reviews of the bailout. In keeping with the practice at previous reviews, the officials will not attend the press conference.
The review centres on strict fiscal goals, as well as economic reforms, such as changes to the labour and legal systems.
Economists say Portugal is highly unlikely to meet this year and next year's tough budget goals under the bailout as the country's recession has become deeper than expected, undermining tax revenues.
As a consequence, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced on Friday he would raise social security taxes on all workers next year, angering the opposition Socialists who on Monday demanded to know why the measures had to be taken.
The government has yet to spell out whether the additional austerity measures will be sufficient to meet next year's budget deficit goal of 3 percent of gross domestic product or whether it will seek to delay the target, breaking its pledge to meet all of the bailout's conditions.
Portugal's economic crisis has been relatively contained - the country has been hoping to emulate fellow bail out recipient Ireland rather than Greece.
Lisbon has so far won praise from Brussels and Berlin for its reform efforts under the bailout.
But a key advantage of relative political consensus surrounding the bailout may be fraying as the opposition Socialists step up their criticism of greater austerity, something which could lead to more protests and strikes.
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this